Sankara SampradhAyam - 9

Dr. S.R.Marur smarur at EASI.SOFT.NET
Wed Sep 1 10:39:31 CDT 1999

As the sishtAs of today, amongst us, think, "If somebody proposes a
new path/ philosophy, we should not accept it directly; it has to be
checked whether it follows the tradition or sampradhAyam", so also
our AchAryAl has given utmost importance to our sampradhAyam through
out His bhAshyams. He used to refer with great respect that 'this is
the sampradhAyam; this is how the sampradhAyikars opine; hence this
alone is acceptable'.

It is said about Jesus Christ that, 'He hasn't come to eliminate the
earlier religions; but only to make them complete'. Even AchAryAl
had come only to get the original-vaidIka-smArtha-sampradhAyam
back on its rails rather firmly and He didn't establish anything new.
He would consider referring to His as 'Sankara sampradhAyam' as an
'apachAram' itself!

He has established even His final conclusion - advaita - only based
on the pramAna of texts, handed down by the tradition, such as
upanishads, gItA and bhrama sUtras and wouldn't have mentioned any
where anything as His own, even by mistake.

That is why, the followers of our AchAryAl did not get any new name;
the title 'smArthAs' got stuck.

Before the advent of srI RamAnujar and srI MadhwA, even among smArthAs,
a set existed which considered Vishnu as their 'ishta dEvathA'.

There is a funny aspect to this (idhilE oru vEdikkai): There were
people among smArthAs who didn't have the [*spiritual*] maturity to
engage in panchAyathana pUjA with special upAsanA for their ishta
dEvathA and without indulging in 'para dEvathA nindhA', as advocated
by AchAryAl. That is, they considered only their favourite deity as
the primordial Godhead though at the philosophical level they seemed
to have accepted advaitA.

Among such people, even the hardcore/hyper (thIvira) Vaishnavaites
remained as advaitins. How [*I*] got to know this is through a
fact, hitherto unknown to you, which I'll share with you [*now*].

There are few, who hail from such an advaitic-vaishnava-paramparA,
exist even today. They hold only me as their AchAryA. If [*you*]
ask about their siddhAntham, [*they'll say that*] it is advaitA only.
They won't wear the nAmam. They won't wear vibhUti either, as it is
considered to be associated with Siva. Rejecting both the nAmam and
vibhUti, they wear only the 'gOpi chandan'.

Wearing neither the 'vada kalai nAmam' nor the 'then kalai nAmam',
there is a sect, referred to as "kItru nAmak kArargal" [*those
wearing kItru nAmam*], which continues to be advaitins. However,
these advaitins are hardcore (vIra) vaishnavaites, when compared to
those who hail from srI Ramanuja sampradhAyam. Even in the present
days, when the RamAnuja-vaishnavites visit Siva temples, these
advaita-vaishnavites, who consider me as their AchAryA, never enter a
Siva temple!

I pointed out to that Japanese professor, "It follows from this
itself that, what a great mistake it is to consider me a saivaite".

Similarly, there are advaitins even among the vIra-saivaites. Though
they have accepted the advaita of AchAryAl as a philosophy, they
could not take His advocated equanimity [*towards all vEdic
deities*] at the upAsanA (theological) level and had ended up holding
the exclusive superioriy of either Vishnu or Siva.

                                  .... to be continued



Translated from,
HH Sri Chandhra sEkharEndhra Saraswathi Swamiji, 'Sankara
SampradhAyam'. Deivathin Kural (in Tamil), Vol. II, Second
Edition, ed. rA. Ganapathi, Vanathi padhippagam, Chennai,
pp: 119-157 (1980).

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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